D-Day

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D-Day As Supreme Expeditionary Forces Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower had the top military men of Great Britain and the United States under his command. These men would help him play out the great plans for the long awaited invasion. Their orders from the Combined Chiefs of Staff were very simple; they were to land on the coast of France and destroy the German armies. The Nazis General Field Marshal Erwin Rommel took many different measures to prepare for the attacks by the Allies. He was the only General under Hitler’s command that believed Normandy not Pas Del Calais would be the invading point (Skipper 42). His troops worked feverishly to strengthen defenses. The entire coastline was littered with land mines. Their beaches had deadly obstacles and their weapons and bases were camouflaged. They felt that on shore they were invincible. By early 1944 almost one million Allied soldiers arrived in the United Kingdom. That brought their total there to almost three million. The Allied air force strength had grown from a few thousand planes to more than 15,000 planes. The 5,000 bombers were ready to drop over 100,000 bombs. All the available space in Britain was used for storage. Newly thoughts up ideas were in the makings to be used at Normandy. One idea was to create artificial harbors on the coasts of Normandy. They would use heavy machinery to break German obstacles and destroy mines. These new ideas would be very useful in aiding Allied troops. The men themselves were trained under conditions that would be similar to the ones they would soon be fighting at. These exercises were different from the ones they had known in the US. Troops continually worked at operating as a whole with other infantries. In some cases the men were even toughened up by having sessions of hand to hand combat. Paratroopers were also mentally and physically toughened up for their missions. The thirteen thousand plus men were said to be the greatest up to that time. The heavy air attacks on the Germans coal railroads began in April of 1944 nearly two months before the actual invasion. These attacks were the first steps in the disruption of the Nazis communication centers. The three days that the Allies thought would be best for the invasion were the 5th, 6th, and 7th of June.

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